How America destroyed its own future.

Net Neutrality and the importance of flushing our shit.

At this rate, there will be a day in the not so distant future where we will ask how it is that we, as a nation, destroyed the Internet. Why, when it provides equal access to information for rich and poor alike? Why, when it provides a backbone for innovation? Why, when it serves as a foundation for our economy? Why would we destroy this?
Well, to put it in the most historical terms I can think of Ajit Pai is a self serving son-of-a-bitch who couldn’t show us honour and decency if we stapled it to his treasonous forehead.

For those who are unaware, Pai is overseeing the destruction of regulations that keeps all the information on the internet treated equally. This is called net neutrality. Basically, today, when you go to a website or use a web app or watch a video, it doesn’t matter where you are going, or where your neighbours are going online, all the information is treated the same. Pai is saying that now, companies can charge more for different sites.

Its like this. When you take a shit, and you flush your toilet, it goes through the pipes and into the sewers. It doesn’t matter what you ate, or what kind of shit it was, all the shit is treated equally because it is treated as a utility. Same with your electricity. When you turn on the lights to take the aforementioned shit, your electricity travels at the same speed as your neighbours, regardless of if they are taking a shit, or washing dishes, or charging a laptop; this is because it is a utility. Basically, when we treat something as a utility, the service is equal and its all the same shit.

This is how the FCC has treated the internet, all the same shit. Doesn’t matter who or what or why. This was what we got by treating the internet as a utility under title II regulations. So forget the jargon, when you see “regulations” and “title II” just think: “same shit, different day”.

If you want to hear it a different way without the vulgar language, try this:

But wait? Why all the vitriol directed at Pai? Simply put, Ajit Pai is the Chairman of the FCC, the governmental body charged with regulating the Internet. It is changing its regulations now so that Internet Service Providers (ISPs), who are the people who let us view and “surf” the internet, can provide unequal access to different types of information on the internet. Thus destroying the most important technological innovation in human history for all Americans.

Keep in mind, the Europeans, Chinese, Russians, and other competitors in the global economy will be flying high on a continued wave of innovation while the US lags behind… why? Money. The money that can be extorted by the American economy for having higher viewing speeds on services such as Netflix is going to reach the billions.

But why would Pai care about this? It isn’t like he has a history of working for an ISP or anything right? Wrong. Ajit Pai was working for the Dept. of Justice before leaving to work for… drumroll… Verizon! One of America’s largest Internet Service Providers. As his wiki page informs us: Pai left his Department of Justice post in February 2001 to serve as Associate General Counsel at Verizon Communications Inc., where he handled competition matters, regulatory issues, and counseling of business units on broadband initiatives.

But wait, is this real, or just a wikipedia fluke? Nope, it says it on his FCC bio page as well:

So yes, you’re not stupid, you’re reading this correctly. Pai was the person at Verizon who was in charge of dealing with issues of regulation and competition and is now at the FCC where is is destroying all the regulations we have in place to keep information free and fair in the internet.

But how!? How could we have this happen? Why would the people allow this. Well, simply put, someone has stolen the identities of Americans and corrupted public commenting with the FCC, something that the FCC itself is refusing to investigate. Yes, that is to say these comments were faked; millions of them have been faked.

Yes, you heard that right: The FCC’s comments were hacked to make stolen identities appear as if they supported the deregulation. The FCC knows that this happened and refuses to investigate. The guy who used to work for Verizon and now works for the regulators… is refusing… to investigate.

So there we have it folks. The FCC is using comments that we know to be faked, because someone stole the identities of millions of Americans to fake them, to justify voting to help the previous employer of the FCC chair. And there is nothing you can do about it because they refuse to investigate it.

As they say, if something looks like shit, and smells like shit. It is shit.

This is what our present looks like. Now imagine our future, when articles like this, which are shamelessly and unabashedly critical of the government’s policies can be slowed…. to……….. a ……..
… halt.

Then, what does your democracy look like? What does your mind and education look like?

Stewart Brand said that “information wants to be free” because the cost of information gets less and less. He also said that “information wants to be expensive” because it is so valuable. Now we’ve experienced 25 years of insane innovation and growth unlike none before in human history with free information. How do we expect to keep this up when information is expensive? Particularly at a time where people can afford less and less…

I'm a researcher and consultant interested in how cognitive science explains social stability and economic events. My opinions are my own and only my own.